Pumpkin Seeds Nutrition Data: Calories, Carbs, Glycemic Index, Fat, Fiber, Vitamins and Minerals
Here is a detailed look into the nutritional properties of raw pumpkin seeds and just how much calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients they contain.
Also find out their glycemic index and load, how they fill you up and why snacking on these tasty seeds, also known as pepitas, is a simple way to lose weight and keep your body healthy.
Calories in Pumpkin Seeds
Nutritional data shows pumpkin seeds have 125 calories per 1 ounce (28 grams) and 285 calories per cup (64 grams) of raw seeds.
Keep in mind with these figures that they are very filling and you don’t need to eat a huge amount of them. In fact, due to their high levels of satiety, most people find it quite difficult to eat more than a small handful.
An ounce of pepitas contains 5.4 grams of fat. According to nutrition information, this is primarily monounsaturated fat (1.7 grams) and polyunsaturated (2.5 grams), with only 1 gram of saturated fat.
Old nutritional advice tended to focus far too much on the amount of fat in foods, without recognizing how important natural fatty acids are for wellness and well-being.
If you’re watching your weight then simple carbohydrates, not fat, is the macro-nutrient you really should be concerned about.
Carbs in Pumpkin Seeds
Despite their calories and fat content, raw pepitas make a great addition to low carb diets and are particularly useful for snacking (most low carb diet plans are decidedly light on good snack options).
An ounce of pumpkin seeds has only 4 grams of carbohydrates. With their high protein content, fiber and good fats, carbs are really not a significant factor in pumpkin seed nutrition.
Pumpkin Seeds Glycemic Index
Raw pumpkin seeds have a very low glycemic index of 10 and are considered to have a negligible glycemic load. This means they have little effect on blood glucose levels, a significant factor in weight gain.
Their low glycemic index and high levels of satiety (eating them really fills you up) means you’re unlikely to put on weight snacking on pepitas.
In fact, if you were to swap high carb snacks like potato crisps for a bag of raw organic seeds like these, you’d be far more likely to lose weight instead.
High Fiber Content
Nutritional data shows pumpkin seeds have a good amounts of fiber. One ounce contains around 1 gram of dietary fiber, predominantly insoluble with a little soluble fiber as well.
This figure is for those commercially available without the shell. One way to really increase the fiber content of pepitas is to eat them straight out of the pumpkins you use for cooking.
You can lightly saute them on a low heat with organic virgin coconut oil and tamari for an amazing taste. This will soften up the shells, but try not to cook them for too long or with too much heat to preserve the valuable fatty acids.
Protein Levels and Beneficial Amino Acids
Raw pumpkin seeds have one of the highest protein content of any commonly eaten seed or nut. At around 9 grams of protein per 28 grams (1 ounce) of seeds they are close to a full third protein.
Vegetarians or vegans looking to increase their protein intake could get pumpkin seeds in bulk and snack on a handful or two each day for a healthy source of vegan amino acids.
High in Tryptophan
The tryptophan content is quite high in these green seeds as well. Tryptophan is an important amino acid that converts to the neurotransmitter serotonin in our brain.
A good intake of tryptophan in your diet can have a beneficial effect on your mood, reduce anxiety and stress and help improve sleeping patterns.
A deficiency of tryptophan on the other hand is associated with increased stress levels, unhappiness, trouble sleeping and even depression.
Cucurbitacin for Worms
Raw pumpkin seed nutritional benefits also include an unusual amino acid called cucurbitacin which paralyzes intestinal parasites like tapeworms in your lower intestine.
Ground Styrian seeds mixed into a paste is a traditional German cure for intestinal worms and there’s detailed instructions on how to use pumpkin seeds for parasites here.
Pumpkin Seed Minerals
These great tasting seeds are a beneficial source of minerals and have high levels of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper and zinc.
There are also good amounts of other minerals like potassium, sodium and selenium, particularly in organic pepitas.
Magnesium is vital for maintaining healthy nerve and muscle function, supporting your immune system, energy metabolism and a wide variety of vital processes within your body. Despite its importance, many people eating a Western diet are lacking in magnesium.
Just a quarter of a cup of pumpkin seeds has close to half the recommended daily allowance of magnesium (though I’d really recommend getting more than that).
Magnesium is an important mineral but much of our over-processed food is depleted in it. Superfoods like raw pumpkin seeds are an ideal source to add to your daily diet.
Rich in Zinc
Zinc is particularly good for men and the high levels found in pumpkin seeds may be one of the reasons it has such a beneficial effect on the prostate gland.
Zinc is also involved in maintaining proper glucose levels, preventing infections, wound healing and skin repair and is necessary for a healthy libido.
Vitamins in Raw Pepitas
Pumpkin seeds contain a variety of B vitamins and a small amount of vitamin C. They also have good levels of vitamin E and the often hard to get vitamin K.
Source of Gamma-Tocopherol
When raw, the seeds of pumpkin are particularly high in the gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E.
Gamma-tocopherol is considered to be much more of an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory than the more common alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E.
Natural Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that many people are deficient in due to few dietary sources.
A good intake helps maintain proper bone density. It also reduces your risk of heart problems, kidney stones, osteoporosis and many other illnesses associated with abnormal calcium metabolism.
Snacking on the raw seeds at work or in the evening is a simple and delicious way to get more of this valuable nutrient into your diet.
Other Nutrition in Pumpkin Seeds
Raw pepitas are high in the antioxidant lutein, especially important for healthy eyes. The gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E, selenium and zinc already mentioned are also potent antioxidants.
There are significant levels of phytosterols in pumpkin seeds (around 260 mg per 100 grams). Phytosterols can help decrease LDL cholesterol absorption and high levels in the diet may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Pumpkin seeds also contain a compound called delta-7-sterine that competes with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT can have a damaging effect when it accumulates in the cells of a man’s prostate gland, causing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate.
Delta-7-sterine in high levels in the diet seems to help reduce prostate cell multiplication caused by DHT. It may also block DHT from damaging hair follicles that leads to hair loss.
Eating raw and organic seeds like these is a good way to get delta-7-sterine into your diet, but pumpkin seed oil is an even more concentrated source.
Many men have reported regular use of the oil beneficial for treating prostate problems and preventing hair loss.
Despite their calories, raw pumpkin seeds are low in carbs and have a very low glycemic index. They are also high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals and have a lot of other beneficial nutrition in them.
They quickly fill you up and make for a tasty and unusually healthy snack. If you’ve never tried them before, the next page has where to find the best pumpkin seeds at a low price.